- Good writing trumps a weak logline. Always. So if you're critiquing your way through the auction and stumble upon a logline that makes you think we must've been sniffing glue while choosing winners, keep reading. It's the WRITING that ultimately counts. (I'm exaggerating about the glue-sniffing. You know that, right?)
- Voice trumps a weak opening. Because sometimes there's REAL POTENTIAL in a piece, but it may be simply a matter of not having started the story at the right place. Which is a VERY COMMON PROBLEM. (Yeah. Ask me how I know.) But if the voice shines through? That's a whole lot of sparkly right there. Voice is HARD. And a strong voice always gets our attention.
- Weak writing kills a killer logline. Because a brilliant logline needs to be followed by an excerpt that lives up to what was promised. WE HATE WHEN THIS HAPPENS. But...it happens.
- This is the scary part: Jodi and I ALMOST ALWAYS feel exactly the same way about an excerpt. There may have been two or three instances where there was a deferral; but even then, it was never a strong polarization. (Does this mean we should open our own agency?? I HOPE NOT.)
- As we read through and discuss each entry, we mark some as immediate YESES, and many more as MAYBES. At the end, we count our YESES (of which we never have enough) and then go through our MAYBES to decide which ones should make the final cut. (MAYBES are a good thing. Because sometimes we might've said MAYBE because we were tired or hungry or not feeling particularly gracious toward a certain genre. Or simply because we just weren't sure.)
- Jodi is the mistress of detailed spreadsheets. I rely on her COMPLETELY to keep our responses organized.
So there it is. Sure, it's a lot of work. But there's an inherent high in working on something that showcases the creativity of our peers. And fishing the gems from the sea of entries is pretty satisfying. Especially when the agents start placing their bids!
Admit it--you're dying to see the entries. They'll be up a week from Friday! Until then, we'll dawdle along and talk about other things.